Saturday, February 2, 2008

Christian-Snagging by the GOP

I've been trying to figure out why the majority of folks who claim the Republican Party as their own are overwhelmingly Christians. Each of the 8 or so GOP presidential candidates had to run the religious gauntlet on FoxNew's first debate in order to continue forward. Huckabee is 'the Christian candidate.' Romney's 'christianity' is still in doubt.

Here's the important question: is the cart pulling the elephant or vice versa? Rather, is one attracted to the GOP because it embodies the teachings of Jesus? Or, is the Christian snagged by the GOP because they are such believers? Ah, there's the question that begs an answer.

Those of us who have been paying attention to this process have posted many articles and news stories during this administration that point out the evil policies and practices of the Bush administration, from preemptive war to torture to lies. Additionally, we have shed light on generous tax breaks for corporations as well as carte blanche for the military- all at the expense of the low and middle class citizens. We have pointed out the trampling of the Constitution as the Bush administration has become an imperial presidency, blatantly ignoring Congress, issuing many executive orders, thwarting the legislative duties of Congress.

The many GOP politicians and loyalists who have been arrested, tried, and jailed is a long list, including Duke Cunningham, Scooter Libby and Jack Abrahamoff. Lies and cover-up have plagued this administration like no other in modern American history.

It is not the shining city upon the hill. Rather, it is a dark, corrupt and deceitful embodiment of all that is wrong with politics. There is no doubt about that.

Therefore, the attraction, the draw of the GOP is hardly because it is Christian-esque. Rather, its policies and practices are closer to the Devil himself.

So, then, why are there so many Christians in the GOP? I have a theory, not supported by masses of data, but rather only by some data, yet enough to convince me of this: the GOP snags many Christians into its tent BECAUSE they are such believers. Let me restate this: because so many Christians [most specifically, evangelical and fundamentalist Christians] BELIEVE, they are easy targets of the GOP.

It's akin to those elderly folks in our society who are easily scammed by telemarketers: they are such a trusting group of people that they can be easily talked into most anything that the marketer is selling. Elderly Catholic women are especially vulnerable to begging letters from 'missions.' My dear mother received many each day from all over the world. I still receive some of her mail although she has been dead for 7 years.

Easily duped. A brain that is easily molded, easily propagandized, ready for 'the message.' My theory contends that the brains of these Christians have, over the years, accepted a whole truckload of beliefs fed to them by their church and, as a result, are ripe for more faith. The GOP has found them. They did not find the GOP.

Have you encountered those who we may describe as bible-thumpers? They are characterized by a belief that every last word of that book is pure truth, even though much of it stretches the imagination of even the most creative story tellers. Their belief is so great tht they cam even believe the ugly massacres and murders of the innocent, entire villages were being wiped out by God's message. Even the cattle and the vineyards and trees did not survive. If this is believed, it is an easy pathway to politics.

These believers are a sponge, willing to soak up whatever the charlatan has to offer. Enter the politician, the master shyster. The GOP is the master of propaganda as evidenced by its most adept, Karl Rove. How does the GOP snag the Christian? Clearlt, not by its policy of preemptive war and building up a mighty military machine. Not by promoting corporate interests over the interests of the citizens. Not by cutting back on programs for the poor and downcast. No, all of this is overlooked, hidden, out of sight. Rather, the lure, the hook, the bait is abortion. Period.

My mother was blindsided by abortion; lots of elderly Catholics are as well. Democrats are cast as baby killers and that is the end of the discussion. Case closed, sale made.

Last evening on PBS's NOW program, host David Branchicio visited several families in the Chicago area who are facing foreclosure of their homes. [video] One family was packing up during the interview as their house was on the auction block. The husband had run up many medical bills and was now out of work, his illness causing him not to be effective. The mother's job could not pay the mortgage and they were in foreclosure. "May I ask you how you voted in the last election?" asked Bancachio. "George Bush,"they answered, "we are Republicans, because we're Christians and don't believe in abortion."

Bamboozled by the GOP. Victims of hucksters. The lives of a family of five ruined because they 'believed' that the GOP and the policies of the Bush administration were 'Christian.' Folks so brainwashed that they would sacrifice their economic livelihood, their entire way of life, for an illusionary belief that the GOP best represented the teachings of Jesus Christ. By the way, the family intends to vote for Huckabee in Tuesday's primary.

All but one of the people in the Chicago area on this program voted for George Bush in 2000 and 2004. Although one might forgive the 2000 vote, clearly there was a massive amount of evidence of the lies of this administration as well as evidence of unequal economic priorities, give-aways to corporate and military interests at the expense of the middle class citizen before the 2004 election. Yet, they voted for more of the same and that is exactly what they got.

Now they are willing to do it all again. Brainwashing apparently is long-lasting- so hopes the Republican Party.

Friday, February 1, 2008

You Probably Missed It: The Best Expose' of the Bush Cover-up, Lies and Incompetence

After watching tonight's episode of Bill Moyer's Journal, my wife said to me, "I'll bet most of our friends missed this program." She was probably right..Nine PM on a Friday night on PBS is not a hot place to be. But they missed the most outstanding expose' of the lies, deception, and fraud of the Bush Administration I have ever seen in one 45 minute segment.

All Americans ought to be forced to read the transcript before they enter the polling place this November so that they do not make the same mistake for the 3rd time in a row and, as a result, trample the Constitution even more.

Rep. Henry Waxman [D CA] presented case after case of Bush appointees who appeared before his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Characters like Condi Rice and Blackwater's Erik Prince were shown bobbing and weaving through the questions asked of them. Others outright lied to the committee. One resigned shortly after his lies.

The Bush Administration was shown to be what most of us who have been paying attention to it already knew: it is the most secretive and deceptive administration since Nixon, and much more dangerous. Here are some of the outrageous dealings that Waxman reported:

•Outsourcing of tax dollars to private contractors has been in the hundreds of millions of dollars with little or no accountability.

• The State Department cannot account for $18 billion it 'gave' to the Maliki government in Baghdad.

• Blackwater has sucked hundreds of millions of dollars from the Treasury to do work that is essentially U.S. Army work.

• A secret no-bid contract was given to a Kuwaiti contracting firm to build the U.S. embassy in Baghdad has cost the tax payers of America nearly a billion dollars; slave laborers were kidnapped to work on this building.

• The top deputy of Karl Rove gave a Power point political presentation to the General Services Administration on ways the GSA could help elect more Republicans to Congress; the subpoenaed chair of that department couldn't recall being at that meeting.

• Howard "Cookie" Krongard, The State Department's Inspector General, reported nothing wrong with the Blackwater operations in Iraq despite many claims of wrongdoing; it was uncovered during testimony that his brother sat on the Board of Blackwater, something he lied about.

At the end of the interview with Waxman, Moyers asked this question: "What do you want to know from Condoleezza Rice?"

REP. HENRY WAXMAN: Well, I want a lot from Condoleezza Rice. I want to know, as secretary of state, that she's supervising the money that's being spent by the Department of State in Iraq. That she's making sure that we're not supporting a government that can't rally its own people because it's so corrupt. The second thing, and most important thing I want to know from Condoleezza Rice, is what did she know about the false claim of Saddam Hussein having potential nuclear weapons? And did she participate in a conspiracy with people in this administration the lie to the American people to get us into a war? She's the one, I think, along with the president, has to be held accountable. Because she was the one who was supposed to work with the president to be sure he had the right information, and had the truth before those decisions were made.

You ought to read the entire transcript and send it to 10 of your friends.

New Nanotechnology Creates Better, Cheaper LED Lights

NewScientist reports an important break-through in LED lighting. The use of a thin layer of nanocrystals inside the bulbs creates an eye-pleasing white color and is 5 times more efficient than compact fluorescent bulbs. The implications for this technology are especially important in helping control the carbon footprint from coal-fired electricity.

Speaking of the coal industry, I've noticed an increasing number of TV ads lately touting 'clean' coal technology. How the oxidation of carbon acquires the term, 'clean' is a deception for the less knowledgeable citizen who will think they refer to CO2 emissions.

Hooray for the scientists working hard throughout the world. At least we can count on them to remain one giant step ahead of the money bastards.

The Phillip Zelikow Connection

That PDB in early September 2001 that languished on the dusty desk of George W. whilst he was deservedly enjoying his month-long vacation at the ranch has raised its ugly head once again. The PDB about bin Laden wanting to attack America. That one.

The plot thickens, although the stew is already quite full of bits and pieces that seemingly don't want to congeal. Buzzflash has a commentary about Phillip Zelikow. They say that Zelikow was,chosen to be the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, but he was actually one of the key people who set up the flawed national security apparatus under Condoleezza Rice.

Hmm. Red flags anybody?

Buzzflash continues:

According to ABC News, when "9/11 Commission co-chairs Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton hired former Condoleezza Rice aide Philip Zelikow to be executive director, Zelikow failed to tell them about his role helping Rice set up President George W. Bush's National Security Council in early 2001 -- and that he was 'instrumental' in demoting Richard Clarke, the one-time White House counterterrorism czar who was fixated on the threat from Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda."

Interestingly, the Wikipedia entry for Zelikow, it says:

In 2002 Zelikow made remarks interpreted as alleging that the United States entered the Iraq War to protect Israel, when he said:

"Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 -- it's the threat against Israel,"
"And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell."

A good detective would have lots of notes in his book right now and is heading back to the office to connect them together.

US army suicides set for new high

What a terrible legacy of George W. Bush. The BBC says:

Suicide rates among US soldiers are heading for a record high, army data released on Thursday shows. Eighty-nine suicides were confirmed in 2007, and if 32 suspected suicides are also confirmed, the total will rise above the 2006 figure of 102.

The man has single-handedly broken the Army. Add the 4,000 dead troops and the 30,000 maimed and permanently injured and it is a ghoulish story of a small man suffering with megalomania. The ne'erdowell failed businessman and alcoholic playboy was given the golden keys to a mighty military and he opened that door and played with the toys like a 7-year-old.

The die-hard, believing right-wingers think that his War on Iraq was just fine, closing their eyes to the ugly story, praising him for 'protecting America.' What fools. How can they remain so totally out of touch with reality? Is it because he's 'one of them?'

When I hear the next dopey right-winger still spinning the story that 'Clinton broke the military' I may have to spit in his face.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bill Clinton's Kazakhstan Money

Today, the New York Times reports that Bill Clinton flew
to Kazakhstan in 2005 on a private jet of Candadian financier
who wanted to achieve a mining contract for extensive amounts
or recently discovered uranium. The two men met with the
President of Kazakhstan, who has quashed any political dissent
in that country; he is an absolutist. The Canadian achieves the
contract. In return, the Canadian makes a $31.3 Million donation to the
Bill Clinton charitable foundation. Info just made public in December,
2007. The initial Clinton response is that there is no connection
between the trip and the donation........Go to NYT and read the entire

"Mom, the Anti-Christ is here to see you!"

David Horsey, political cartoonist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer drew this marvelous snipped of truth.

I worry greatly [as regular visitors to this blog know] that religion and religious values are unduly influencing our political leaders. It is as if we, as a nation, are becoming more and more like those so-called 'islamofascists' that the right-wing loves to deride. Oddly, our right-wing and the Muslim right-wing don't seem to notice that they both preach from the same pulpit.

Mike Huckabee is but the most overt example of this mix of religion and politics, but it can be seen in each of the GOP candidates, save Ron Paul. Paul has become the laughing stock of the Republican Party for telling the truth; they seemingly are not interested in his, The Emperor Has No Clothes, story.

I find it sadly pathetic that most Republicans I listen to deny the basic tenets of the Gospel of Jesus while claiming to be 'believers.' His social agenda does not fit with theirs at all. 'Love one another' has an asterisk:
*except those who we deem as not worthy of our love and care. Like "illegal immigrants, gays, welfare cheats, and those too lazy to get a job."

Yet most embrace war as the answer to international tension. Most embrace cutting social programs while handing out billions to the Pentagon. Most love the death penalty and mandatory sentencing guidelines of criminals. They love tax cuts, believing in borrowing from future generations for their own financial welfare. Jesus would vomit at all of this.

Two days ago my wife [and two dozen other recipients]received an email from a Christian Republican called, The Bird Feeder. It begins innocuously enough about hanging a bird feeder to watch the birds come and feed. Then, the story becomes dark [pun intended]:

Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food. But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue. Then came the poop. It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table ... everywhere Then some of the bird turned mean. They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket.And others birds were boisterous and loud. They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food.After a while, I couldn't even sit on my own back porch anymore. So I took down the bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio. Soon, the back yard was like it used to be ... quiet, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal.

Surely you can imagine the connection between these 'birds' and those 'other people.' Yet, you really don't have to imagine the connection at all because the email makes the connection for you:

Now let's see ....
Our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, and free education and allows anyone born here to be an automatic citizen. Then the illegals came by the tens of thousands. Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free services; small apartments are housing 5 families; you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor; your child's 2nd grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn't speak English.
Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box; I have to 'press one' to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than 'Old Glory' are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.
Maybe it's time for the government to take down the bird feeder.

Jesus would approve, no doubt, because, after all, he was quite the social conservative, wasn't he?

Groucho and Chico Marx and The Privatization of Social Security

[A guest editorial from EngineerofKnowledge]

I remember years ago Dick Caveat interviewed Groucho Marx on the Dick Caveat show. Groucho was telling the story of his brother, Chico, and himself. Before their break into the movies, they had a very successful career in Vaudeville and later shows on Broadway. Groucho went on to say how every dollar that Chico got paid from the shows, he would just party it away and would be broke within a week’s time. Groucho on the other hand would save a portion of his pay each week in the bank or invest in the stock market money towards his retirement. Groucho finally took over Chico’s finances and money and started to save a portion towards Chico’s retirement. He had to make Chico put money aside explaining that he needed to save towards his retirement. Even though he really wanted to party away the money he made each week, Chico finally reluctantly allowed Groucho to set aside some of his pay check to be saved and invested.

Then came the stock market crash of 1929 which bankrupted most of the banks in the country. Groucho had lost everything including the money he had made Chico put aside. Groucho was feeling depressed and like a failure. He not only lost his money but his brother’s money also. After the news reached Chico and just how bad it was, he went to visit his brother, Groucho. There was Groucho sitting there feeling lower than low and Chico came and sat down next to him. Chico broke the silence by saying, “Ok, so you’re broke and I’m broke…..Who had more fun?”

Groucho had to laugh because Chico obviously had the most fun, but more importantly Chico was telling him that it was fine and even though they were in their mid 30’s they would just pick up and start again.

Now for the big historical picture. Chico and Groucho were not the only ones who had lost every bit of their retirement savings with the bank failures and market crash. Many people of retirement age had lost everything and had nothing to fall back on. Many were too old to start over and could not even work anymore. This is when Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Social Security System to provide for this demographic aged segment of society.

Now in the State Of the Union Address from George W. Bush last week, he was back on the “Privatizing Social Security” drone again. In reality, Bush wants to return the system the way it was back in the 1920’s. We are again looking at bank buyouts to keep them from going bankrupt; real estate market has crashed because of deregulated / unregulated banking policy systems. Everyone should remember Bush’s 2000 campaign statements like, “Industries can regulate themselves. Get government out of industries business so they can get down to doing business.” Well now the world stock markets are being brought down because of the real estate crash and defaults. Stock brokers have invested in risky and now crashing stocks because they were nothing more than a shell game in the first place. Let us not forget the “Junk Bonds” of a few years ago. The Social Security was set up as the safety net and buffer to these conditions.

Those of the Bush administration have their eternal medical, dental plans in place for them. They also have a secure retirement paid for them and family for life. Any citizen should ask that they have the same benefits for them also. If it is good enough for them, then it’s also good enough for me. At best don’t proactively jeopardize what I have been promised for the last 35 years of my working life with your “Privatizing Scheme.” This is just too much wealth lying around that will be too tempting for someone not to try to get their financial hands on. Why do I suspect that if looked into this one a little deeper, it probably benefits one of his campaign contributors and yes, may even make it easy for those parties to raid and rob what the baby boomer working class has set aside for their old age?

The Kiss of Judas

David Cook writes:

"The day must come when the president and all the war-makers must stoop upon the ground, with the knees of their pin-striped suits dirty in the mud, and beg for forgiveness, blessing and healing, cursing themselves for ever thinking they had the authority to grant this upon others."


To understand more about 'the kiss' read his short article.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bush's "retardation of science research"

We who have been paying attention already knew it, but here's the latest on the Bush-whacked Department of Science:

In his final State of the Union address, President George W. Bush devoted several lines to science and technology topics. He called for research and funding to reduce oil dependency and reverse the growth of greenhouse gases.

But several scientists around the country aren't buying what they see as rhetoric not backed by funding. And they are frustrated by what they view as the White House's morality-based politics that they say ignores scientific evidence, distorts facts and leads to outright censorship of reports and scientists.

In email interviews this week with 21 researchers in various fields of study, LiveScience and found widespread criticism for Bush's "retardation of research," as one scientist put it, that threatens to knock the country out of its global leadership role in science and technology.

"Science has been seriously undermined by the censorship and alteration of testimony and news releases," said Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "Science and facts are not a factor in decisions, and ideology dominates."


Ideological science is hogwash at best serving the right-wing Christians who twice put him in the White House. After all, science facts might just undermine much of what is written in the Bible, the so-called word of God. Were any of it proved not to be true, many of these Christians would have little to base their faith on.

How much damage can one man create in 7 years is being answered day after sorry day. The economy, the military, the image, trustworthiness and now science have all taken a tumble under this president. The next occupant of the White House will spend all four years of their term attempting to right the wrongs, undo the ideology, and fix what he broke.

What a tremendous undertaking that will be: a clean-up presidency.

John Fear/Warmonger McCain Head'n for Victory

"Wars and more wars, my friends." John McCain with a little straight talk in Florida a few days ago. He told the folks to expect even more wars and so they voted for him. Romney talked about the economy, but apparently McCain's warmongering trumped the naive Floridians. They never have been too bright come election time.

Dumbed-down and fearful folks seemingly are willing to hand their souls to the fear-mongers carte blanche, no questions asked. Odd stuff.

With McCain in the driver's seat of the GOP, the question to be answered this November is this: Can American voters be scared for a 3rd straight time into voting for fear and war? The choice will be clear between the Dems and the Republicans.

Fear or hope? War or financial responsibility? Stinginess or common good?

Inspired Voter Praying Like Hell

In a letter to the editor of The Blade this morning, a reader says, "Ever since the current administration courted the religious right to get elected, I've been praying nonstop." Funny stuff, but after the laughter come the tears, lots of them.

Blinded by the Bible would be a great book title and quite apropos for the past few years of American history. Recall that 'compassionate conservative', born-again Christian fellow from Texas? Sure. Been there, watched the fiasco unfold before my eyes.

The first part of that letter cited above goes like this: "With the presidential election soon upon us, I have great hope that the voters will cast their ballots with regard to their wallets, not their Bibles.This isn't to say that I haven't become a holier person since the last two elections, albeit a poorer one."

Poorer? Oh, apparently the author isn't a CEO for the energy or defense industry. Or the insurance, hospital or pharmaceutical industries either. Just an average American watching his earnings, savings and house values all drop to record lows, while his heating, food, medical, and transportation expenses rise to record highs.

Bamboozled by the Right. A companion piece to Blinded by the Bible.

One More Broken Federal Agency: FDA

George Bush's record of taking care of the citizens dropped to a new low, if that is possible, with the announcement that the Food and Drug Administration's morale is at an all-time low. FDA Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach at an unusual hearing before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations seemed to be Michael Brown-ish in his testimony.

The occasion was the reprising of a report, first released in December, in which several high-powered drug industry and academic experts dissected the FDA, saying that a persistent lack of resources over many decades had depleted the agency's ability to protect the citizenry.

"American lives are at risk," Gail Cassell, an executive at Eli Lilly and Co., who helped write the report, said at the hearing.

The Houston Chronicle reported on these findings of a report on the FDA which was the subject of the hearing:

• The agency's computer systems are antiquated.
• Its quality of science is backward.
• Its morale is poor.
• It is failing to protect consumers from the onrush of pharmaceutical ingredients and foodstuffs streaming in from overseas.

Rather than being energized to address these deficiencies, the Chronicle reported: "Eschenbach was more measured than effusive during his testimony. He complimented the report, which he had requested from the agency's advisory Science Board, and said its findings were not a surprise. He also described himself as hard at work implementing its suggestions."

'Hard at work.' Reminds me of 'You're doin' a heck of a job, Brownie.' All of the Bush men are hard at work, but few care about the results, especially the CEO.

Just one more failure of the Bush Administration; who has been keeping track of them? And they have nearly a full year of failure yet to create.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I wish the Democrats would stop killing all of those babies!

I have muddied my feet by walking through some right-wing blogs lately. I held my nose, naturally, but not my comments. I noticed one blogger said that he could never vote for a Democrat because of all of those babies killed in abortion. Hmm. I asked if George W. Bush killed more or fewer babies than Bill Clinton. There was silence and then the reply came some days later on this blog. He said:

I would also like to answer your question, which Yankee to[took] the liberty of answering, and my answer is just about all Democrats. Abortion is the murder of innocent babies and if you support abortion you are supporting that murder. Bush is not supporting the murder of babies, if you are talking about the war it is not comparable to abortion. The purpose of abortion is to kill the baby, the purpose of the war is to protect America and, although children may get killed and it is very unfortunate, the purpose is not to kill innocent people.

Quite the interesting logic, but I give this blogger some slack as his profile indicates that he is 19-years-old. Yet, his statement cannot remain unanswered. Further, I wonder how he came to this conclusion in the first place; what 'sources' did he consult to draw the conclusion above.

The Republican propaganda machine, I suspect, was part of it, if not completely it. The GOP prides itself on its self-proclaimed family values, values expressed nearly exclusively in its opposition to a woman's choice in deciding on whether she can and/or wants to proceed with her pregnancy. To me, that is quite the narrow view of 'family values,' yet I see little beyond this one issue.

It is quite odd to hear all of the GOP candidates, save Ron Paul, warmongering to the conservative base of their party while holding up 'family values' at the same time. Each one would love to cut taxes to the bare bones, yet maintaining massive payments to the military for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One can't reduce or remove taxes without reducing or removing spending, unless one uses the grand credit card called the National Debt.

Most modern-day Republicans would first cut social programs, programs that help maintain a quality life for many citizens, especially those lower on the economic rung. Food and housing subsidies, nutrition programs, Head Start and other education-intervention programs are all prime targets of many GOP leaders in Congress and the talking heads on the radio. Universal health care for all Americans is unthinkable to them, siding with the HMO's, pharmaceutical industry and the insurance companies at the expense of the American citizen.

These social programs are the target; they always have been the target of the right-wing of the GOP. They want the Pentagon to have all of the latest military toys, but would deny a single mother health, food and shelter to pay for them.

Thus when I hear that sad story of Democrats killing babies, I shake my head in disbelief.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tonight 9 PM- 7th Annual Clean Out Your Junk Drawer Night

From 9 PM EST until 10 PM is the 7th Annual Clean Out Your Junk Drawer Night. Put on a great CD, crank it up, and do something you've been putting off since last year at about this time.

You know what a mess you made of that drawer over this past year. Well, tonight's the night to take action. Folks from all across this nation will be joining you in this annual event.

Spend a refreshing evening with your junk and your music. It will be a great cathartic movement from Boston to LA, from Minneapolis to Mobile.

Remember, this may be the last year for this event so make the best use of this night.

Cutting Taxes and Other GOP Nonsense

"I'll cut your taxes..." is the typical pap pouring for the lips of every Republican candidate save Ron Paul. "We've got to make the tax cuts permanent!" hollers one of the lot. "We need to cut business and corporate taxes" says another. It seems that these Republicans never saw a tax that they didn't want to cut.

Of course, the alternate to taxing citizens is to borrow money from another nation. Reminds me of a teenager with his parent's credit card: buy now, pay later. When do we pay later? And, to whom? How many trillion dollars do we owe now?

The GOP loves the phrase, 'Tax and spend liberals.' They will gladly smear any Democrat with it. Economics 101 might agree with tax and spend rather than borrow and spend. One is adult, the other adolescent.

The other odd thing about these Republican candidates [except Ron Paul] is that while they are cutting business and personal taxes, they are spending wildly on the Bush War on Iraq. How does John McCain, for example, keep a straight face when he talks about cutting taxes and fighting the war 'and more wars, my friend'? Giuliani touts his fiscal leadership in NYC, yet he, too wants to fight the war and cut taxes. Do the audiences just bobble their heads in agreement like robots without thinking of the consequences of 'borrow and spend?'

When was the last war waged without increased spending? No doubt in the SOU address we'll hear about how Bush wants Congress to make his tax cuts permanent. The foolish American citizens will nod in approval thinking that this will somehow benefit them when the sad reality is twofold: those cuts are not for the average American at all, but rather for the top tier Americans and for corporations. Secondly, by not taxing and not cutting spending, especially on the very costly war, the financial stability of this nation is being eroded, just like those beaches during a hurricane.

Watch the markets today. Both Asia and Europe tumbled. They know what is going on here in America. They know that our borrow and spend economy has met its fate. But the politicians keep right on cutting the taxes to get elected. What fools we are!

Wars and More Wars, My Friends

John Warmonger McCain trying to scare the voters in Florida to vote for him told then on Sunday evening that there will be more and more wars. Apparently he's run out of other 'straight talk' about jobs, the economy, and other bread-and-butter issues. As a result, he trotted out his dog and pony show called Fear and War.

The poor man thought that his military experience would lead him to the golden trophy in the GOP this year, but then the economy went sour and he's left with his one-act show.

Tonight's SOU speech by Bush will be just as handicapped as old George will be faced with having to bob and weave about the tanking economy rather than his grand and glorious 'war against terra.' What a sad show that will be. These two men bet their entire political fortune on their war mongering, but, as usual, war seldom benefits anybody.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bacteria Bathing in Volcanic Hot Springs: Life's Genesis

The Blade reports that two local scientists were part of a team taking part in a national research project investigating a bacteria found in a volcanic hot spring in Indonesia.

"We think that life began in this kind of boiling sulfur spring, so there are a lot of teaching principles that come out of teaching about the biology of the organism," said Cheryl Kerfeld, director of the education program for the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute.

The federal Microbial Genome Annotation research program through the Joint Genome Institute is researching the microbe Ammonifex degensii to figure out how the organism survives in such a climate.

A genome is an organism's complete set of DNA.

"It's almost boiling water that would burn your hand instantly. That's where it's happy," said Paul Morris, an associate professor of biology at BGSU.


Near-boiling water seems to be a hostile environment for life as we know it, but then, life as we know it is not what thrives there. Rather, that sulfury soup of minerals apparently was just the right combination to connect the molecules into something that later produced living, reproducing life.

This is a far cry from the Biblical stories of Adam and Eve, but then, how could primitive tribes wandering the deserts of the Middle East understand microbial genome formation? Even today, most Americans believe in the KAZAAAAM! instant Adam creation as told in the books of these wandering tribesmen. But then, the scientific acuity of the average American isn't too very great.

Putin, Buddy of Bush, Becoming Russia's New Czar

The BBC leads with this headline: Kasyanov barred from Russian poll

Russia's election officials have barred former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov from running as an opposition candidate in the March presidential election. The Central Election Commission (CEC) said there were many invalid signatures in Mr Kasyanov's list of supporters.

Mr Kasyanov served under President Vladimir Putin, but has become one of his staunchest critics. He called on Russians to boycott "this farce".

Mr Putin's chosen successor, Dmitry Medvedev, is expected to win in March. In a statement, Mr Kasyanov said: "There is no doubt that the decision not to register my candidacy was taken personally by Vladimir Putin."

"The country has finally gone on the slippery slope to totalitarianism."


Slippery slope indeed. I hate to bring up the past, but do i recall a certain naive governor of Texas patting Mr. Putin on the back down at the ranch, telling the Americans that he looked into Putin's soul and found it as pure as the driven snow?

Odd, isn't it, how often this naive governor got lots of things wrong. As a matter of fact, I'm trying to think of one or two that he actually got right. Any help out there?

On a more serious note, the fact that Putin is clearly a unifying force [pun intended] for the Russian people does not bode well for our own nation if it hopes to continue to be the world's number one superpower. This, naturally begs the question: why does America always think it needs to be number one in everything, a question my wife asked me recently.

Nonetheless, the thought of another cold war looming ought to be a wake-up call to all of us. I have not doubt that Putin wants to build its military to a point where it can challenge the United States and thereby act as an agent to keep us from world dominance. Apparently neither the naive governor nor his Machiavellian advisers were watching the sleeping bear while they made plans to invade Iraq. So much for geopolitical wisdom.

Interestingly, none of the GOP candidates are watching Russia either, all but Ron Paul vowing to keep our troops planted in Iraq until 'victory' can be achieved. What dopes. Do the American voters know this or will they be once again bamboozled into blind patriotic fervor? John McCain for one is betting on that.
As a side note, that photo was from their first meeting in June 2001; the BBC's headline from that meeting was, Bush and Putin: Best of friends.

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